Yandy Diaz

On Thursday morning, after not getting any sleep and having their series against the Yankees swept, the Rays reported to Tropicana Field. Everyone, from the exhausted bullpen to the sleepy starters, needed a wake-up call.

A quality start was more energizing than caffeine on Thursday night, just 19 hours after a 10-inning walk-off loss in New York.

After being called up from Triple-A Durham to give the starting rotation a day off, right-hander Luis Patino shut out the slumping Royals, 7-1, in front of 8,168 fans at Tropicana Field. With a current record of 65–54, the Rays are in a tie for the second wild card place in the AL with the Toronto Blue Jays.

First victory for Patino since October 2, 2021. Against Kansas City, who were losing for the fourth time in a row, he threw 86 pitches, 63 of which were strikes. Despite manager Kevin Cash’s belief that “it’s not fair to expect a (callup) to come in and shut down a major-league squad,” the player in question did just that.

He worked quite hard yet very effectively. I suppose he still had some gas in the tank; we just couldn’t pull away from the pack early on. Absolutely giddy about Luis. In his first major league start since July 23 (when he went on the disabled list with a strained left oblique), Patino held opponents to just four hits across 5 2/3 innings.

Only after he issued a single to Salvador Perez and walked the cleanup hitter, Vinnie Pasquantino, in the sixth inning did he allow a runner to reach second.

Collin Poche, a struggling reliever, got pinch-hitter Brent Rooker to fly out to the left field and then pitched a scoreless seventh inning. Catcher Christian Bethancourt noted, “Actually, we never catch and pitch together,” after admitting that he had never caught a Patino bullpen session until Thursday.

But because we’ve been gaming together, I just saw him say, “Hey, let’s just do it like we’re playing video games. Just go after the batter, throw strikes, and pretend like you’re playing catch with me.

Patino and the bullpen had all the run support they needed before the majority of the crowd had taken their seats.

Yandy Diaz extended his recent hot streak by launching the second pitch he saw from Royals right-hander Max Castillo into the upper left center stands. Diaz hit his sixth career leadoff home run, a 400-foot rocket, and then supplied insurance with a bases-loaded double with one out in the Rays’ five-run eighth against reliever Brad Keller.

In his last four games, Diaz is 4-for-12 with a home run, four doubles, and eight RBIs. The Rays had a 12-hit night with three RBIs on Thursday, but the team had a brutally short turnaround because their charter jet didn’t get back from the Bronx until after 5 a.m.

The interpreter Manny Navarro relayed Diaz’s “we were a little surprised” comment. Although we returned home late, I believe that everyone was able to function today because of the rush of adrenaline.

In the seventh inning, a double by Diaz set the stage for an offensive onslaught by a squad not known for its baserunning prowess.

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Roman Quinn singled with one out and a runner on first to give the Royals a lead against right-handed pitcher Brad Keller. After that, Jose Siri hit a grounder to shortstop Nicky Lopez, but the lead was so large that Lopez couldn’t make a play on second baseman Trevor Quinn and his throw to first was late.

“Just a heads up,” Cash emphasized. We weren’t scattershot with the ball, either. Nonetheless, the home runs by Roman to second base, and Siri down the line helped us break it open.

After that, Diaz hit a double that drove in multiple runs. After Diaz’s hit, slumping Brandon Lowe knocked a run-scoring single to center field. Lowe entered the game with a batting average of.000. Then, Diaz came home on a crisp fly by Randy Arozarena to the rightfield wall, and Lowe came home on a wild pitch by Keller.

After a heavy slide into third base during the inning, Diaz departed the game with a painful left knee. He had a scheduled day off today, but he promised he could come in if needed.

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It’s been a couple of days since I’ve felt anything there,” Diaz remarked. The most painful part was the deceleration after I hit the base. There’s probably nothing that can’t be fixed with some shut-eye. Rest is overrated, though, as Thursday’s effort demonstrated.

That’s tough, man,” Quinn added. My memory of the time of our return last night is sketchy at best: somewhere between 4:00 and 4:30. After suffering a crushing defeat on Wednesday night, to come out swinging on Thursday speaks something about this team.

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